Community Credit Union offers financial help to anti-bullying initiatives

TRURO – There were many tears during a Community Credit Union meeting in Truro last night.

The theme of the annual general meeting centred around taking a stand against bullying. One of the highlights was Tom and Sharon Brown, of Parrsboro, briefly speaking about the importance of community and business support in regards to bullying. The Browns’ daughter, Courtney, committed suicide because of bullies in March 2011 at the age of 17.

“There is no turning a blind eye,” to the epidemic, said Tom as he struggled to speak. “Our hands are tied without legislation.”

He is pleased the provincial government is passing a Safe Schools Act in an effort to make people accountable for bullying.

The couple, crying throughout their short presentation, was touched when the credit union donated $2,500 to the Kids Help Phone, an organization that provides free, anonymous and confidential phone and online professional counselling to youth.

“This is awesome and brings further awareness to the issue,” Tom told the Truro Daily News. “The credit union is giving back to their community.”

Also, a short video of Pam Murchison’s daughter, Jenna, was shown. Jenna, from Truro, committed suicide in 2011 at the age of 15 in relation to constant bullying.

Darrell Kuhn, president and executive officer of the credit union, representing the Truro branch, said the business is supporting anti-bullying causes for very specific reasons.

“Because this is our youth, our future. And in an age of technology (bullying) is so epic,” Kuhn told this paper.

“We want to partner with schools and programs by being a sponsor, providing funds and fundraising. We also challenge other businesses to step up to the plate.”

The credit union also donated $2,500 to Cyber Internet Safety Society (CISS), which features Cyber, a robotic-like anti-bullying mascot with the Truro Police Service.

Barry Mingo, executive director of CISS, made a presentation to the crowd of more than 50 people last night. He said by the end of this school year, 45 schools and 25,000 students will have seen Cyber’s presentation. In addition, in September, area schools will tackle bullying issues through a partnership between CISS and teachers encouraging Grade 3 to 6 students to discuss how they would deal with bullying in various situations, using regular classroom curriculum as part of the program.

CISS will also partner with the Canadian Mental Health Association to provide packages to schools detailing best practices and resources when dealing with bullying issues.

Source:  Truro Daily News, April 24, 2013

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